Second half lifts Phins over Falcons
The Redcliffe Dolphins retained the James Ackerman Cup after putting in a dominant performance in the second half to down the Sunshine Coast 46-28 at Dolphin Oval.
The Falcons saw their five-game winning run come to an end – with the win pushing the Phins back to the top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder after eight rounds.
The visitors burst out of the blocks to lead 18-0 after just 10 minutes tries to Vincent Leuluai, Guy Hamilton and Matthew Soper-Lawler.
However – the Dolphins responded and them some with five tries in 16 minutes before halftime seeing them edge in front 24-18 at the break.
The Dolphins – who were missing skipper Sam Anderson after he injured his hip in his last game – ran away with the game in the second half, helped by a hat-trick from halfback Christian Hazard in a 10-minute period.
Young Storm prop Leuluai scored the first try of the game in the third minute and was pivotal for the Falcons’ pack.
“Vinnie is getting better and better each week,” Falcons coach Craig Ingebrigtsen said.
“I really like the way he took their pack on, he didn’t take a backwards step from their star-studded pack.
“I am really impressed with where Vinnie is going with his footy and I am sure he is going to be in contention for the Melbourne Storm side down the track which is good news.”
Ingebrigtsen believes his side needs to show greater consistency and patience moving forward in order to mix it with the premiere teams in the Intrust Super Cup.
For the Dolphins, it was a welcome return to form following their dour loss to the Hunters at National Football Stadium in Round 7.
Next week, they are at home again and will host the Souths Logan Magpies in a Sunday afternoon match, while the Falcons are on the road again and will take on the Tweed Heads Seagulls at Piggabeen.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 46 (Christian Hazard 3, Thomas Opacic 2, Matthew Lodge 2, Thompson Teteh, Joshua Beehag tries; Tyson Gamble 4, Joshua Beehag goals) def SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 28 (Matthew Soper-Lawler 2, Vincent Leuluai, Guy Hamilton, Jeremy Hawkins tries; Guy Hamilton 4 goals) at Dolphin Oval.